The Command to Rest

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Karen Valentin shares why taking care of yourself is your most important responsibility.

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” —Mark 6:31 (niv)
What did you do for your kids-free weekend?” my friend asked. “I cleaned,” I said flatly. “What I always do for my kids-free weekends.”
Laundry, scattered toys, and dishes will pile up as I work full days. Mommy-guilt sets in on my days off, and I prefer to spend time doing fun things with the boys instead of chores, errands, and appointments. That leaves my kids-free weekend to get it all done.
“You’re going to burn yourself out,” my friend said. “What you need is a Sabbath!” She ordered me to take the next kids-free weekend to do absolutely nothing. I agreed.
When it arrived, I woke up at 10:00 am. I stayed in bed for an hour more, just relaxing. I strolled into the kitchen and poured a bowl of cereal and plopped on the couch with the remote control. Later, I walked past a huge bag of dirty clothes and resisted the temptation to do laundry.
I read; I napped; I strolled in the park; I ate lunch at an outdoor cafe.´My body had to settle into the slowness of the day. The next day looked the same; my friend even came by to make sure I wasn’t scrubbing floors.
By the end of the weekend my house wasn’t sparkling, but I was rested and rejuvenated. Of all the responsibilities I needed to do, taking care of myself was the most important one. Lord, thank You for giving me not only the permission but the command to rest.

Written by Karen Valentin

Digging Deeper: Ex 20:8–11;Mk 6:45–46; Lk 5:16

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